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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
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The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China

Summary of a Workshop

Ana Ferreras and Steve Olson, Rapporteurs

A. Ester Sztein, Editor

U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction

Board on International Scientific Organizations

Policy and Global Affairs

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0638656. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-15163-4

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-15163-5

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
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Preface and Acknowledgments

In 1999, Liping Ma published her book Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers’ Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in the United States and China, which probed the kinds of knowledge that elementary school teachers need to convey mathematical concepts and procedures effectively to their students. Later that year, Roger Howe, a member of the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction (USNC/MI), reviewed the book for the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, concluding that it “has lessons for all educational policymakers.” Ma’s book caught the attention of many mathematicians and mathematics educators, sparking an interest in Chinese mathematics teaching that continues to this day.1

Several years ago, Professor Howe was attending an international conference on mathematics education when a particular phrase caught his ear; the Chinese educators often talked of “superrank” teachers, i.e. teachers with the honor of “Special Class” (Te Ji Jiao Shi in Chinese). This is an honorary designation in the Chinese career teacher hierarchy that involves special responsibilities for leadership, professional development, and research. Although there is no equivalent designation in the United States, the common roles of master teachers in both countries are math coaches

1

National Research Council. 2003. Understanding Others, Educating Ourselves: Getting More from International Comparative Studies in Education. Colette Chabbott and Emerson J. Elliott, eds. Committee on a Framework and Long-term Research Agenda for International Comparative Education Studies.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
×

and consultants, technology coordinators, mentor teachers, mentoring and induction coordinators, peer reviewers, special education inclusion coordinators, department chairs, grade-level team leaders, and house leaders.

Concluding that this was something U.S. educators wanted to know more about, Professor Howe shared this information with the USNC/MI.2 Intrigued by the idea of superrank teachers, the USNC/MI sponsored a workshop entitled “The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China.” The purpose of the workshop was to examine the structure of the mathematics teaching profession in the United States and China, as described in the following statement of task:

A public workshop will be organized that will bring U.S. and Chinese experts on mathematics education together to discuss professional development methods and techniques commonly used in their countries. The workshop will feature invited presentations and discussion that will focus on the teacher development process used in the U.S. and China, and how the professional lives of teachers are structured to receive ongoing professional development. The activity will bring together U.S. and Chinese experienced and highly qualified teachers that provide professional development (such as master teachers, mentors, or coaches). Comparing and contrasting the roles and status of master teachers in both countries will be one of the main goals. An individually-authored workshop summary and a 13-minute video with highlights of the event can be found at http://sites.nationalacademies.org/pga/biso/ICMI/.

Held in Newport Beach, California, on July 31–August 2, 2009, the workshop brought together about 40 mathematics educators, mathematicians, education researchers, and other mathematics education specialists from the two countries. There were participants from three regions of China, Beijing, Shanghai, and Jiangsu Province (north of Shanghai), as well as several Chinese scholars who now work in the United States. A graduate

2

The USNC/MI plans, recommends, and encourages projects in areas of international importance in mathematics education and also advises the National Research Council on all matters pertaining to the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction. The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction is a commission of the International Mathematical Union, which is an international, nongovernmental scientific organization with the goal of promoting international cooperation in mathematics.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
×

student at the University of California, Irvine, Xiaoqing Chen, provided superb translations, with assistance from several bilingual scholars among the Chinese and Chinese-American participants. The workshop was planned and organized by two staff members from the Board on International Scientific Organizations (Ana Ferreras and Kofi Kpikpitse), with the assistance of five USNC/MI members: Patrick (Rick) Scott, New Mexico Higher Education Department; Joseph G. Rosenstein, Rutgers University; Janine Remillard, University of Pennsylvania; Roger Howe, Yale University; and Ann Lawrence, Capitol Hill Day School (retired). We would also like to express thanks to Ester Sztein for editing this report. There was no official National Research Council (NRC) planning committee.

Workshop planners benefitted from information from a November 2008 meeting on “Building on Cross-National Comparisons to Improve the Preparation and Support of Teachers of Mathematics,” organized by Janine Remillard under National Science Foundation (NSF) grant 0738019. This earlier meeting, together with the 2009 workshop, provided invaluable insights into the teaching of mathematics and the preparation of mathematics teachers in both the United States and China. The authors would like to express their thanks to Gail Burrell (Michigan State University), who generously contributed funds toward this activity through NSF grant 0714890.

This workshop summary has been prepared by the workshop rapporteurs as a factual summary of the main presentations and discussion at the July 2009 workshop. Chapters 1 and 2 provide background on the educational systems in China and the United States, respectively, particularly as that background affects the preparation and practices of mathematics teachers. Chapter 3 describes the preparation and roles of mathematics master teachers in China, while Chapter 4 covers similar topics in the United States. A final chapter presents key questions identified by speakers at the workshop that remain to be answered. The statements made in this summary are those of the rapporteurs or individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants, the USNC/MI, or the National Academies.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
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for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process.

We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Jinfa Cai, University of Delaware; Roger Howe, Yale University; Cathy Kessel, consultant; James Lewis, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Xuhui Li, California State University, Long Beach; Edward Liu, Rutgers University; James Rubillo, DeSales University; and Tina Straley, Mathematical Association of America.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution.


Ana Ferreras and Steve Olson, Rapporteurs

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
×

FIGURES

1-1

 

U.S. Classrooms versus Chinese Classrooms,

 

5

1-2

 

U.S. Teachers’ Room versus Chinese Teachers’ Room,

 

6

BOXES

1-1

 

China-U.S. K–12 Educational Levels Comparison,

 

2

1-2

 

Confucius’ Teachings on Education,

 

4

1-3

 

A Day in the Life of a Chinese Teacher,

 

8

4-1

 

Becoming a Certified Master Mathematics Teacher in Texas,

 

31

4-2

 

Summary of Key Differences in the Mathematics Teaching Profession in China and the United States as Identified by Workshop Speakers,

 

32

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12874.
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In 1999, Liping Ma published her book Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers' Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in the United States and China, which probed the kinds of knowledge that elementary school teachers need to convey mathematical concepts and procedures effectively to their students. Later that year, Roger Howe, a member of the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction (USNC/MI), reviewed the book for the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, concluding that it 'has lessons for all educational policymakers.'

Intrigued by the idea of superrank teachers, the USNC/MI sponsored a workshop entitled 'The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China'. The purpose of the workshop was to examine the structure of the mathematics teaching profession in the United States and China. The main presentations and discussion from the workshop are summarized in this volume.

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